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McDonald's 365 Black Awards takes place at Essence Festival

Will Packer
Will Packer
Soul Brother

Terrence “J” Jenkins and Tika Sumpter hosted the 11th Annual McDonald’s 365 Black Awards. The event was held in conjunction with ESSENCE Festival in the Big Easy. McDonald's 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The program launched in 2003 as an extension of the company's 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African Americans year-round.

Terrence J and Tika Sumpter Host McDonald's 365 Black Awards
Soul Brother

The event honored the contributions of the following individuals;

Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist
Kevin Liles, music executive
Will Packer, film producer
Iyanla Vanzant, inspirational leader
Dhani Jones, former NFL athlete
Henry Coaxum, McDonald’s owner/operator
Skyler Grey, teen artist
Gabrielle Jordan Williams, teen entrepreneur

Thousands of spectators and celebrity guests packed out the New Orleans Theater in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to recognize these exceptional individuals for their positive contributions to the African-American community. New Orleans native Ledsi kicked off the show. There were performances from some heavy hitters of the Gospel music scene including one of my favorites Kim Burrell.

Before the awards show began, national television journalist Janell Snowden interviewed the stylish stars on the golden carpet.

Check out our slide show to see exclusive photos of the honorees, BET’s Sunday’s Best cohorts Kim Burrell and Kierra Sheard, Grammy-nominated gospel recording artist Anita Wilson, singer/actress Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), recording artists Ledisi and Mali Music, actress Naturi Naughton (Power, Notorious), R&B delight Tank and more.

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